tv Today in Washington CSPAN June 5, 2010 2:00am-6:00am EDT
unpredictability that you have cited. whattthe tifa does is it puts the commercial and economic relationships into a -- an institutional basis as if it were. so when a problem comes up with respect for market access or any issues that accompany my face either side could call for a meeting to discuss and resolve the issue. we don't have to do it helter-skelter anymore. beyond that, the libyans themselves have taken some pretty positive steps in the commercial development and investment. for example, their privatization continues at pace. there'll be two new banks that will be privatized, licenses for two-year banks that will be allowed to be private this summer. this are -- they passed laws relating to tax-free status for companies that come to libya. so i think they're moving in a -- in a positive manner. there are -- there have been problems in the past several
months oaf the past year where in effect political issues have intruded into the commercial sector and some companies have been affected by that. that has not sent a very good signal out to the rest of the commercial enterprises in -- in the international community. they may well be -- they may continue. the political situation is unpredictable as is the economic one. i think they're moving in the right direction. i think american companies now more than ever are ready and -- i think will be welcomed to libya. the -- the encouraging part of that is -- i have been told by everybody from top down that they want american companies, even realizing that american companies have among the strictest standards of practices in the world. especially under the foreign corrupt practices act. despite the fact that they know that american companies are on a very, very tight leash with
respect to those standards. they still want them. i think that's an encournling sign. >> can you share any impressions that -- of libyan 4r50ered qaddafi and his son you mentioned. now he's investing in hollywood movies. >> with respect to the leader, you know, i had -- investors don't normally get a lot of access, but the access i have had, he's a unique heard with a unique vision. i have had very good -- very -- one long conversation with him and we discussed the gamut of u.s. bilateral relations. i think he completely understood my points. he took notes and came back. we argued we talked. i think some good things node over that over the pastself
months. with respect to liz son, he has several obviously i think safa is one, is -- is the punitive successor to the heard. i find him to be very thoughtful. he is certainly as far as i can tell inclined toward a good relationship with the united states and the west. he's very interested in -- in raising the level of the standard of living of the libyan people. in terms of reform, i think he -- he -- he is a potential reformist. i think he tried around the edges to push the envelope and -- you know, there's a -- there's a very difficult conservative group in libya which does not want change. he's had to counter them back
and forth. so i think that -- he's been offered a formal position. he's yet to take it. i think he's waiting for the right circumstances so that when he takes the position, he will be able to have a little more lad tute -- latitude to undertake the kind of reforms that he would like to in a society. it is not easy. i think he's aware of that. i think as we look to the future and i think -- if in fact he does come to play an important role, i think that we will see -- i can't say significant change but we will see change. and a lot of the &s that we, that we would like to see change in. >> [unintelligible]
>> i have first of all to grate you in your work. i saw you at the state department. and i wanted to ask you, what are the complete steps that you have taken to really elevate the absence of -- of civil society organizations and democracy prom makings in the country? as we know it. the second one is the faciletation. i am originally from the eastern part of libya. and in the old days in the 1960's, i had my visa taken before i became an american citizen. until now, anybody from the eastern part to have any kind of facilities have to come to tripoli. why not thinking of really extending your services there. that's a very important -- i think branch of the services and a very large country. and to facilitate for the citizens there. more relationship with you. >> with respect to your first question, which is a very difficult one actually, we
obviously -- a very important part of the united states agenda in any country and especially in one that we just come back to after 30 years is to -- to the promotion of democracy, the expansion of civil society. as you can guess, it is a very, very delicate issue for the libyans. there's no organization that is are not government licensed at this point. so, we have to in effect be very careful in the way that we approach this. i'm not -- i'm not saying that that is necessarily the way we want to do it but -- it -- to be realistic, it is a way that we to. it is going to be an evolutionry rather than revolutionry process. what we want to do is to try to find those areas where we can make a difference so that in fact we are present when the -- the reforms -- the reform space
opens up. what we do is we try through for example the -- people to people ties and opening up visas and having people come back and forth, which is a tremendous effect. the more they come and see and talk when they go back. we do it through commercial training for example. we -- for example, we, we have a training of libyan judges. we have a very active and aggressive program to bring libyan judges to the united states to see how we work. we have -- we brought our judges to libya as well. what this does, it sets up a potential for libya, especially in the commercial sector to have a judiciary that is -- that works according to law. that in terms of the commercial environment allows for the sangetity of contract and allows for -- brings into play the idea
of arbitration. these are powerful things. i will agree, they're not -- they're not the sexy top picks and the most important things that we would like to do with respect to the overall expansion or promotion of democracy but i think we have to be just a little careful on how we approach that. but we're trying and we are looking, we look through the qaddafi foundation. we did in the past. we're trying to look for other partners now. for example, on the -- on women's abuse, we have some programs that we're trying to cultivate there. we try to work with -- in the medical field. we have had an active dialogue with them and in fact have seen progress in the trafficking of persons. so while as again, i said this, it doesn't satisfy what we would like to do. it is a good start. it enables us to work at a pace which does not cause any
government pressure to come down on us. we will continue to look for the opportunities that we can to expand that space. with respect to the second question, you're right. we have been, i been to bengasi a few times and send officer there, they do administer counselor services. as to the -- tozz the possibility of scanneding, we would love to i'm sure. but i think that's a bridge too far at this point. but we are, i can assure you servicing and we're taking into -- into account the needs of the people of the eastern part of the country. >> thank you. take advantage for a moment and ask a question myself. you mentioned that -- the relation between -- the libya's role with respect to the arab league and then in -- also the -- the respect to arab
countries. one gets the impression sometimes that libya is having a great -- perhaps one should say -- the president is having a great deal of trouble deciding whether he really wants libya to be part of africa or to be part of the arab world or to what extent he's interested in starting the line the way -- the way arab leaders from that region have done in the past. would you comment on that? >> i think the -- prior to several years ago, qaddafi certainly tried to play a lead role in the arab world and for certain reasons, i think for certain reasons was probably not as successful as he would have liked to have been and at some point he did turn his attention to africa. and he about pursued a very active and -- and policy, with respect to the africans which led the -- you know to the creation of the african union and -- on september 9th, 1999
and then he became a chairman of -- last year and then was a very active year trying to promote a one africa policy, which -- which, i -- i think met with a lot of resistance among several of the frips because --. it was moving too quickly. i think they thought the concept was good one but that -- the timing was just not right, given the -- the differences in the states of development, especially in terms of governmental structures of the various african countries. i think he sees himself and hibia playing a role in both. he -- he may not be as active as he was in -- in africa because -- just by virtue of the fact he's no longer chairman but certainly as the -- he -- they hosted the arab league summit in -- in march. in cert. he played an active role.
[unintelligible] >> is the consewn suss that as long as qaddafi is in power, there will be no real genuine reform, period. everybody in libya is -- is accepting this fact and would like to convey this fact to anybody who is following the information. this leader being 40 years in power, he's got his own style. i don't want to talk about his record. because it is not very pleasant. but for the sake of the future, that is what they're telling us. that there will be no room for genuine and meaningful reform in libya as long as qaddafi is in
power. period. that's what they're telling us. this is number one. number two, i would like very much for the -- for the -- for our government, for our ambassador to get engaged in one of the very hot issues in libya. this issue reminded me with lockerbie and other issues, and this is the issue of what is called our esteemed present massacre. i believe the ambassador must have heard or something or at least when he sent his people to bengasi, there are people there that are weekly demonstrating and asking for their -- for their list of demands to be answered by the libyan government. 1200 people were massacred in one day. in one prison. everybody know who is was behind that. and the people there are asking
governments and institutions ambassadorships to look carefully at this because the way, the way the government of libya is handling this is in the the proper way. thank you so much. >> i don't think i'm capable to say, to address the issue will there be no real reform in libya during the time of -- of qaddafi. i can say there have been some positive developments. i won't call them major developments. for example on salim, you know in a few months ago, human rights watch held a -- an open conference where it talked about its -- its hibia, human rights findings. and -- and at that meeting,
there was a direct and quite unprecedented open, i won't call it confrontation, but at least a dialogue between the salim families and the government. they were -- i think what came out of that was a promise to follow up and take into account what the families were asking in terms of death certificates and compensation and in terms of ones during that particular %- episode. so there is some movement in -- i can't say it is -- you know probably satisfies those who were involved, those who had loved ones killed there. it is some measure of the fact that there can be some dialogue, at -- >> there have been some release of some -- some people from prisons, including some people who have been held beyond their
terms, for different -- for different offenses. also, i would say that -- again going back to -- to safe -- is ham, he had been trying to push the envelope i think -- whether through media or through his efforts with respect to the -- rehabilitation of the former terrorists. so i -- i would not say that there is -- no chance of reform. what i would say is that it is a very delicate issue and that there are people that are seeking to troy to reform but -- it is going to be -- it is going to be a very difficult process. but i would not give up hope and say that nothing can happen because we have seen some steps, unsatisfactory -- as they are
but some steps. >> sorry for being late. i am very -- [unintelligible] from the conference of the libyan opposition. i just -- i want to ask, -- to ask the ambassador, continuing with both my friend and does the united states exist -- exhibit any sort of pressure on the libyan government concerning human rights? libya and the problem of salim and so many other cases. this is my first question. my second question is how -- how do you view -- the evolved relationship with the libyan regime and taken in to account the government of libya being
one of the most corrupted governments if the world. not the most, i would say. it is also a dictatorship. there's no right of any sort, no freedom of speech, not any kind of freedom really. and -- people are suffering. and since you -- you said you visited bengasi i'm sure you're aware of the dire situation. the young men there and if you go farther, east, you'll see even worse situations. in the city of durma and the idea that qaddafi is fighting islammist, radicals in libya. as a matter of fact, this is far from true. he is fighting everybody that opposes his regime who tried to
fight for rights, for his freedom. all of those, and just the regime. and what -- what could fix all of this, if he goes for example to the city, you will see asian recruiting young men who are in dire situations, they have no future and no education and no jobs. and they're under the watchful eye of the -- of the regime security forces and they send them to iraq to fight the americans. this is a fact. it has been written about in the -- last year i think. you know, this is -- this is -- this is just -- a show of how things never change. it is the same. so i would like to see you talk on that, please. >> we have been absent from libya for almost 30 years. we're just back in -- really the
second year of normalization. i'm not going to justify the fact that we don't have a very public campaign of pressure on libya at this point because i don't think it would be effective. and we are just in the -- in the stages of establishing a relationship with them. there's still a lot of suspicion. and we have had a few incidents in the past where -- we have tried to -- to do very public events or cities or incidents with respect to -- to pushing the human rights envelope and we have gotten -- we have gotten a lot of blow-back on it. it was in effect a little counter productive. it is not the situation i would like. it is the situation we face. i can assure you that we conduct a very vigorous human rights
dialogue with them. but it is done behind closed doors. and i know that is not a very satisfyry answer -- satisfyry akt answer but i have found and maybe these will come out when we do a history that in fact there have been some -- some successes we have had when we tackled the most sensitive and delicate issues of human rights behind closed doors rather than putting it out in the public domain. and i think that is probably going to have to be the way, at least for a while that we operate. until we get to a point where we have the kind of relationship where we can impact events as we do perhaps in some other countries. but as i said, there's going to be an evolutionry process. it doesn't mean that because you don't hear about what we're doing in public and we're not taking a very aggressive stance in public, there -- that we're
not doing things. we are. but we're doing it in a way that we judge to be most -- most appropriate and that will lead to some results given the circumstances that -- that we face. as far as the fact of -- we deal, you labeled -- colonel qaddafi a dictator and there was no freedoms and all. both republican and democratic administrations have now determined that a relationship with libya is in the u.s. national security interest. so, on the basis of that, i have argued and i think we continue to argue at the highest levels that engagement is -- is in the u.s. interest. in that context, we will try to
achieve the kind of goals and the kind of you know, civil society reforms and all of the kinds of things we stand for as a country and a nation and as a people. we will do it i think hopefully in a way that will be successful over time. as we develop this relationship >> i'm with the business association. thank you again. i like to take the opposite tack of the last two questioners. we heard from miss tack that it was changing and as long as it is universally acknowledged according to your statement that so long as qaddafi is in power nothing changes. we heard here that -- that i'll show you that qaddafi never changes. i like to focus on the opposite. libya is a rapidly changing exceedingly volatile place
economic by and politically. in fact, in the -- in the late 1990's, still in the sanctions period, economic liberalizations, a small ifitah has grown in the last decade. could you comment on the changes that the libyan economy both private and governmental g.p.c. sectors vene and particular talking about the recent passage of law nine superseding law five of 1997 and maybe depicting libya as a a place of rapid change on -- on the economic issues because it had been so -- so government controlled in the past. >> i agree on the economic side, which i tried to address i think with jonathan's question, there has been tremendous -- there has been tremendous reform and activity. i mean, they have -- they're now executing the -- approximately 130 billion dollars worth of projects upon and -- and -- a
lot of it was, you know beginning stages a few years ago when they -- when they embarked on the program, a lot of the contracts and development schemes were very much helter-skelter in -- in a frenzied attempt to -- to try to catch up with as i said, 40 years of basic stagnation. they are in terms of the new laws that they're in terms of partnerships and in terms of privatization of banks and in terms of letters of credit that they're expanding, they are a very dynamic -- they're very dynamic openings according to that. the fact that the companies are coming in is another testimony to that. the fact that i said they have a very good economic team that realizes that they -- they, this is a -- this is their future and they have got to -- to develop institutions that meet standards
if theory going to be able to attract the kind of technology and companies they know is necessary for their -- their companies. for their -- for their country. so, i would say on the economic front absolutely. again, caveated with the fact that we're in a very volatile and unpredictable both political and chick situation where things you know, can change from one day to the next quite honestly it has happened several times just in the time that i have been there. but i think there are people who -- there beginning to realize that if in fact libya is going to shed its image of unpredictability and volatility, that they're going to have to -- be more institutional with respect to the kind of -- procedures and standards that they operate by.
>> thank you. my name is segun. i would like to know your comment on your opinion about safe speech and cairo, when he was talking about institutions. >> this has been you know, as i said, he's been kind of all over the map in terms of trying to -- to test the whole spectrum of potential reforms in libya that i think that he would like -- he would like the country to go in. and direct him. the constitution as far as i know was -- has been worked on for the past several years. they have had, they started with, with -- with scholars from the united states and europe. and -- as far as i know, they came to a document that -- that seemed to be almost ready for prime time. there was then a delay. and i expect that -- that as he
makes the decision as to how he will either take this new position or not take it, that we will again see talk and hopefully action about -- about putting the constitution in place as well as potentially other reforms. >> ask you to go pack to a question that you had in your introductory marks and you did not say much about. it is the counter terrorist program and the country has made in the reeducation of radicals and that whole aspect of when is going on in the country. if you don't mind, perhaps you could get into the discussion of that what woe hear from the ambassador. you could talk about it too. >> this was -- this was basically islam's initiative to
try to -- to try to rehabilitate the members of the libyan, islamic fighting group who had gone off to afghanistan and then had come back and -- had begun as a -- as a group which was -- which sought the overthrow of the qaddafi regime and then morphed into -- into more of the al qaeda network and establishing lynx with other al qaeda groups i think in magrad. he saw it as a chance to -- to reduce the impact and the -- attractiveness of the -- of the radical islamic theology. he did it in a very step by step process. he very step-by- ep process. he spent lot of time. . . -- stpwhroob e d sstespt lot timef
12k3w4r50b thr t heen wmt gati. zoob 12k3w4r50b by having moderate shakes come in and talk about the real value of islam. - sheiks come in an talk about the real volume of islam. he methodically went in to talk about the political tenets they seemed to espoused by arguing that the libya they had left several years ago and then come back to was a different place. this resulted in the first wave of releases last year and the most recent one of about 214 people, which was very hhly publicized. i think several scholars from around the world ttended it. the question will be what will
be the polyps -- the follow-up. is there follow-up to make sure there is no recidivism? how do they enre that they get good jobs? how do they ensure that the rehabilitation that they have undergone, in effect, sticks in the future? it was a ver-- i think it was well-received. the extent to which it will be able to be alied to other organizations and situations in the world -- i think the jury is still out. at least for the libyan situation, i think it was a very positive development. with respect to counter terrorism in general, we have e of the strongest tenets since we began the new relationship with libya back in the early 2000's. the yielding of their weapons of mass destruction program, as
well as very robust counter- terrorism coerationrogram with the united states. >>would you like him to talk as well? >> thank you. i am not sure how much i can add to that. when you look at what happened in libya, especially recently, it ss a lot about domestic libyan politics and domestic libyan concerns. neutralizing the libyan islamic fighting group as or threat to the regime was very important. -- american samoa a threat to the reme was very important. i'm not -- as a threat to the regime was very important. it has been extremely difficult to get information about what this process was that happened inside libya, especially inside the prisons with the drafting of this pronunciation document. what strikes me as the most important thing will be the follow-through.
letting people out of prison is easy it is reintegrating them, providing alternatives, and providing the after care prrams to make sure people do not return to programs and police they not want to be returnee to the --hat is the most important part. there were the 200-oddpl who were just released a few months ago. i think several former militants have said, if the regime does not provide jobs, education, alternatives, they will return to what they were doing before. the most importantart is yet to come. >> mr. ambsador, i know about the debate between the libyans and the fighting groups. when my colleagues in ll libya -- in lia was a go- between -- one of my colleagues in libya was a go-between. there is an eternal question --
an inteenal question. aggression is not available -- it is denied. everyby knows the reality there that the revolutionary committees are running the affairs there. the question is, do you see, in your obsertions and in your feedback from the country, there is a willingness to open up the politil system? if there is no opening up of t political system, the incorporation of these people into it will be a difficult thing. the jury is out. they mig not be successful. even though, in tripoli, ther was a meeting with scholars from outside the count who are discussing the recantati of the principles of the fighting groups and so on.
it has gottea good reception from many scholars from all over the arab world who followedt. as seone who is in the fld there, what do you think will be done? there is some kind of communication to maybe follow up here or in morocco corp., -- in moroccor mauritania. >> on the potential return question, there are people in libya who espouse reform, although quietly. the most vocal, obviously, has been the shape of islam -- sheik al-islam. we c hope for reform. at this point, it seems to lie almost exclusively in his hands. i am not sure -- safe is -- he
is t one who pushed it. he has pushed the envelope at mes. at times, he as been successful. at times, he as been pushed ide -- at times he has been successful. at times, he has been pushed aside. we look to them ashe gauge as to whether the reform movement is going up or down, and what exactly the limits are. >> could have tried to return to what the first part of your question was? -- could i try to return to what the first part of your questn was? i have been following libyan politics for five years. a few years ago, people thought that direct democracy -- the people's congressrocess -- was
not only ineffective, but w widely seen to be ineffective. people were thinking a few years ago that that action was just going to stop. do you still see the same forms of these local councils that have the same sort of theater of direct democracy being pursued with the same level of engagements in veral years past? do you sense that there is not so much going on, but it has not been replaced by somhing? where is it in terms of seeing something that looks like elections in government that people can touch? is it going behind closed doors, or is there a public theater that people are being exposed to? my own personal sense is that it is as you have described with respect to the foot public theater aspect of it. i think they -- with respect to
the public theater aspect of i i think there has been a lot of media attention and a lot of governme promotion of the idea that these people's congresses are in effect a real expression of the people's will. i think they are meeting and they seem to be given, at least in the media, some role in terms of decision making the are highly publicized -- they are highly publicized. athe end of the day, the decisions are made by a very small group of people. i do not think that concept that has begun 40 years ago and tha was constantly shak up, at least my opinion, and what i have seen, has resulted in any great movement toward the
concept of a real people's democracy. >> one of the things that is really difficult to imagine for most of us is how a process of political transformation is going to take place. i start from the assumption that this is a system that is probably not going to survive -- it cannot survive. who knows for how long? it is bound to change. the simplistic answer is, will they when they recognize that this does not work and there will be elections -- it will not happen this week. it is notuitehat simp. do you see anything happening that will show the process of transformation beginning?
are there any areas that are indicating political change, for example? >> for -- iave to be honest, i do not hear a lot of it. the political context is repressive. i hate to keep coming back to the fact tt the shake is the sheik is -- that the sheik is the symbol of whatever passes for political debate at goes on in the country. we see very little discussion of what a future libya would look like. as i said, there is talk of reform, but i have not seen anything that would pass for real, analytical debate or discussion about the forms of
government that would replace the current system as of right now. >> mr. ambassador, since i am one of the people who follow the dynamics bear, even if -- the dynamics there, even if they got the -- there was aggression. tb was confiscated. -- the tv was confiscated. there was an expience for about four months -- an experiment for about four months and and was struck down. he called for -- and it was struck down. he called for all of these things and then closed them%+ down. he istill surviving and has said he does not want to play a political role. he refuses to take the offer.
but i know that the country is not as it used to be -- a closed society. since all of this could have led to a better reform -- some degree of reform -- they' all repressed -- they were all repressed. >> i think the answer is clear. there is a very powerful mbusted group. -- barry powerful, vested -- a ed group.rful, bestvestsed there are very much in vested -- invested in the status quo. when the attempt to change it in the slightest way, they -- when they attempt to change it in the slightest way, they have
attained enough power to stop it. the sheik has tried seral things and has gotten a little bit further each time, but then he basically gets slapped down when he crosses what is considered a red line of sorts. >> [intelligible] >> other than? >> [inaudible] >> right. it i a tough slog. i cannot -- it is a difficult issue to talk about because it is not talked a lot about in india -- libya. i do not hear a lot. there is a lot of concern about talking to us as american diplomats. there are still a lot of sensitivities about e issue. >> i am going to redirect the
discussion just a little bit. it is very much related to the idea of civic action i know that in a lot of other motheit -- middle eastern d african countries, the state department sponsors gender enlistment -- gender empowerment and sofas forth. -- and so forth. i have gotten the impression that it is a peripheral attempt that is controversial and i was wondering if you have similar initiatives on the ground in libya. do you have plans to promote something along those lines? >> i would not call them briefly. i would call them pragmatic -- i would not call them peripheral. i would call them pragmatic,
given the context in which we operate. when we talk about the men in issues, specifically, -- feminine issues, specifically -- >> iould talk about incorporating women into the political process. i understand it is problematic, because the proces ielf is problematic. you mentioned your people to people initiative. you mentioned these educational initiatives. have there been other pragmatic wayshat the state department has tried to incorporate women into more political awareness, if nothing else? the mother was -- i met a libyan woman several weeks ago who -- >> there was -- i met a libyan women several weeks ago who is trying to form an ngo, even though that word is not exactly accepted easily in libya, that would, in fact, attempt to raise
women's awareness and get them to participate more in whatever fields they could. we have asked her for a propos. if we get tt from her, weill see if we can fund a project like tt. we are on the lookout. we are also trying to think of ourselves, what are the kinds of areas and projects thate could do with the organizations that exist now on the ground, as well as looking for new opportities. >> one other common tour was speaking on your progress promoting economic initiatives. could there be something with geer empowerment within the economic arena? could you incorporate women into the labor force? we have looked at and i think we have made some progress at empowering women entrepreneurs, especially in the
smaller and medium business enterprises. that is a project that we're just getting off the ground very slowly. it is another area that offer some potential. we want to get women from the homes into the worlace. e thank you -- >> thank you. >> thank you. i just want to add some comments about what my friend did said. he h been making this statement for maybe six or seven years. whenever he made this statement publicly, the great lear would come and contradict him completely. i doot think it is the revolutionary members. they have no eal power, except on the people, but not on the
making of decisions, and not on the revolution. it is the big guy himself who is contradicting his son. i am sure the closing down of the tv station and the newspapers coming from him personally. nothing, nothing, and i am sure he is aware of it -- nothing is happening in india without muammar al-gaddafi. this is so clear to everybody. i amot -- i do n think, if he truly wants to make reforms in libya, or change libya, if he is sincere enough, why is he putting those redlines? gaddafi -- nobody says a word
even in the constitution and says he is above everything -- constitution, it says he is above everything. this is e problem. if people sincerely want to mak reform -- if he sincerely wanted to make record, he would start ing it for himself. stop spending the libyan money you have not earned. for example, he pays this college in london to make his speeches -- $1.50 berlin -- 1.50 sterling. he made the same speech. what i guess i got from that speech was the statement made by
his predecessor -- professor. u need to come back here to school to take a short course in the rule of law and the ability of the people to collect and change the president. this was said by his professor. it said nothing about those things in his speech. he talkedbout democracy and committees and the sorts of things. we know those things are not his policies. we talked about the economic effect when some people said there was a lot of mement. you know who controls everything in the via -- in libya --
everything with big business -- it is gaddafi, his wife, his children. these are the big comnies -- they own everything. we do not -- live in america and i am an american citizen. i have been away. i've not been in the field for the last 30 years, but we still have family and friends there. there is no real change. ank you. >> thankou. >> since we are short on time, i will take the last few questions. >> mine will just be an observation, picking up on him what was said about gender empowerment. -- picking up on what was said about gender empoweent. i was a u.s. diplomat in libya,
arriving in the summer of 1969. i know that seems like ancient history to you. it does not seem that long ago to me. [laughter] i was in the countryor three years. i never met a single libyan wome-- not one. they did not go outside of their homes. my wife met very few. when i went back to libya, one change i noticed, which was clearly a change for the better, was the presence of women in government offices and businesses. i spoke twiceefore public grps. once was at the university and once was at the book' center andoth time there were women in the audience. both time, t women got up an asked questions. there were very assertive. they seemed to be accepted as --
they were very assertive. they seem to be accepted as equals in the pitical, public marketplace. when i was at the university, about 40% in the office o women faculty members or women students. -- about 40% in the audience were women faculty members or women students. perhaps it does not seem like a huge amount of change over 40 years, but, to me, it seed dramatic. i do not know what all of the reasons were for that. maybe it would have happened anyway. maybe gaddafi h something to with it. but it was a huge change. i think the libyans are still coming to terms with it. i think they will come to terms with this in their own fashion. i do not think they are going to be guided to much by us -- too
much by us. another one of these countries, wherthere are more women involved in parliament, when they have one, the general people's congress -- there may be a higher percentage of women's represented and in the congress of the united states. -- higher percentage of women represented than in the congress of the united states. i think it is a change for the better. >> do you have any other quesons or comments before i turn it over to the ambassador? >> yes prepared -- yes. [inaudible] i do agree with the ambassador i say that because i know that
his joand his mission -- because i know his job and his mission. i would like to emphasize what he referd to and mentioned as a real engagemt -- as re- gament. he mention judges and other programs. i believe that is what is going to bring -- i hope that there will be more programs on other levels and other fields with a little bit of a push. i hope that you will succeed. >> thank you. >> ok. >> thank you for all of your questions. i really -- i have a lot of homework to do, to go back and better answer the questions on the reforms, certainly. we have a lot of work to do in
this relationship. the onlyhing i can say is that, 30 years of estrangement is a long, long time. it is along -- a lot to overcome, not only in the way we do not understand each other, that we do not talk to each each other's systems, but we are making slow, but steady progress. but that takes engagement. i know that there is still a very difficult situation here in washington and certainly in the united states with respect to dealing with colonel gaddafi and with the libyans because of the past. certainly, i have always, in any speeches i give or any comments i madin public, said that the past is a big we cannot forgive or forget,ut at the same time -- the past is somethinge cannot forgive or forget, but at the same time, this is a
population that offers low hanging fruit in terms of being pro-american, in terms of wanting us there. even on a governmental level, they want our relationshipith us. to the extent that the past continues to be a major factor, that will be the exnt to which we're probably not want to be able to move ahead too quickly. i would assure you that in the embassy and the state department, we respect the past. we know it exists and we take into account. we cannot go into these discussions with libya blindly. there is a national interest to be pursued. it will difficult. we will try to get to all of the concerns that you have raised here in terms of hun rights, reform, women's empowerment, all of those different issues. it is going to be a very slow process, by virtue of the fact
that we are just newly back into libya. we will continue to try, but i doot want to give the sense that we will give short shrift to any of the issues that you have mentioned here. it is a very difficult environment. they are very suspicious of us. we have to tread carefully, in the hope that we will play a role in the future of libya when the environment is more right -- ripe. that is not to say that we will not do everything we can within the conxt, tools, and resources that we have that the current time. >> thank you very much. [applause] [captioning performed by national captioning institute] [captions copyright national cable satellite corp. 2010] >> before you run away, there are some people at this meeting who i do not cnt among the
that is an important stylize fact. professionals of the fastest- growing occupational group. it favored obama by 58% according to the exit poll. they lean towards the democrats pretty heavily. they're taking a moderate approach for the use of government. they are leaning pretty heavily for the democrats. if somebody wants to ask about the rise of the middle class, maybe someone can talk about that. i did want to say one word. i have hit the rise of in -- nine cushion: -- none christian
areas. let me talk for one second. in two dozen 8, barack obama had 59% support from one particular -- barack obama had 59% support from one particular group. what are the growing groups in terms of religion and attendance in american politics with writing. the local protestant? the growth -- riding
protestants? may have 30% of adults that are secular or unaffiliated with any religious group by the year 2020. by 2016, we will no longer be a white christian nation. by 24 become a maybe -- is going to affect a certain flavor of gop politics. i will skip over the geography stuff. i will give you my conclusions. it is difficult to look across these changes and say, it is not
a clear necessity. they have to move to the center on several issues. a more moderate approach would help with minorities. how can you make a breakthrough with hispanic? they have to look at things like that. the republicans need to probably change the approach. they're looking at fiscal issues and certain things like that. you cannot stop the bleeding. what is important is that they
move back to the center and see more of these kinds of voters. i guess people can ask me about that. [unintelligible] if there is more, do not hesitate to ask. [applause] >> good afternoon. it has been a very successful conference. we specialize in political parties. this is some of the best minds in the business. we have been talking a lot about election demography.
points but we will be looking at today. as the the american public opinion. i joined the institute in 1979. i can give me an indication on how the business has grown. a started working on public opinion on a regular basis and least once a month. there were three new polls this morning. we have more than a dozen posters in the field on a regular basis. the media and the candidates use public opinion polls.
i think they are a very useful device. they should not ever be used to make policy. i have concerns about talking about the future of the republican party. and there are file cabinets to cover every inch of my office. a whole series of predictions was done about what the united states would look like in the year 2000. nearly all those predictions were wrong. i look at the same questions that wrath for the year 2000 that turned out not to be correct.
those polls were spelling with a burgeoning media, and they really were not thoughtful views. i want to talk about attitudes towards the parties today. a want to describe very rapid change. in the spring of 2009, there is a server that has been done since the mid-1980s. they reported that the democrats were not evenly divided. the proportion of self-described independent who piggybacked on gallup data in the new survey was the highest in seven years with reactions to the failed
presidency of george w. bush. some of the reasons were extraordinary changes by spring 2009 related to demographic changes. the only other time was in 1992. americans value choice, whether it was the decision to smoke or kill yourself, people always like choices. so some set up they would like to say a third party in american politics. others are very satisfied with both parties that delivered in
2004. john mccain and barack obama where the candidates. few noticed the democratic and republican views were more homogenous. the partisan gap also was considered. they hadn't overwhelmed lee white electorate -- had an overwhelmingly white electorate. there were a significant demographic gains. this is a poll of the gallup relief yesterday.
democrats still lead republicans over all. this is a question if you have a fair global opinion or unfavorable opinion. -- favorable opinion or an unfavorable opinion. 42% a favorable opinion.+ we are in the midst of an ugly business cycle. but these images have a very significant implications. there is a new poll among democrats and republicans. i agree that there are serious
problems for the gop. he has identified the ones that are most troubling for the party going ahead. candidates and issues and performance matter. i would like to take a few of the groups that we talked about. i agree with the millan deals in terms of their voting for barack obama. the young people in the fdr era carried their political identification with them as they age. we do not have this information
available for 2004 or two dozen a, but the young people in 2000 were the most democratic part of the group in the electorate. -- 2008, the young people in 2000 were the most democratic part of the group in the electorate. the first votes of the millennial had overwhelming support for barack obama which is important going ahead. today, the only age group in the latest gallup -- we have seen very significant changes over all. i think young people are fickle over all. they were also the strongest supporters for newt gingrich. young people like action. barack obama was a candidate of
action. hispanics are overwhelmingly democratic. obama's rating is holding up. they did not share the enthusiasm in terms of turnout in the gubernatorial elections last fall. i will be watching the rubio crist race in florida very closely. i think the race could be very significant. second and third generation a more democratic, second and
third generation want to roll out the welcome mat for immigrants and are not as tolerant as their brothers and sisters. that is one way to see how the hispanic population is changing. the white college graduates are a republican group. postgraduate are lost. women with a postgraduate degree are off the charts. the white working-class continues to be extremely important to the latest poll ratings. barack obama had a 39% approval rating. in terms of religion, it is correct that those with no religious identification and
>> it is great for me to be here. i need to talk about the past in order to talk about the future. i want to talk about what a historian said in his presidential address to the mississippi valley historical situation. he was talking about a system we have today. it is like the practice of monogamy for the right of the supreme court to declare a law unconstitutional made from congress. there is a division of political forces. they see a guarantee in the two parties of government. and he looked the this sacred object of the two-party system. he noted that there were great intelligent voters, but the system was not ordained by the constitution, nor was that it
desired by some of the founding fathers. he also went on to remind his listeners that it least for the last 100 years, one-third party has succeeded in other. as a final challenge, third parties have played an important role as either of the major parties to make the nation what it is today. i think these are remarkable. they are less than 100 years old. they are as much a reminder to us as they were to his audience. however, i do not think the parties have much of a will in the party system. he was more optimistic than i would be. i read his words to remind us that it has not always been the case.
a vote for the third party is a wasted vote in this two-party system. ours has not always been a two- party system as we know it. dominant parties locked out third party challengers. that is how the system goes. these political parties actively contested elections. and they survived for at least two election cycles. in 1890, 52 house seats, thrre senate seats, a majority in seven state legislatures. in four states, they were the second major party. they had displaced the republican party in united states. what did these parties do that was great? they achieved their greatest successes in the state in local levels.
none captured the presidency. in our own terms, we kit think a certain way about this. in the 19th century, politics showed the national arena both in terms of spectacle and a site of power. these victories are not relevant or trivial. they are concentrated at a level of politics that is less influential today. what else do these parties do? they mobilized voters by changing the terms of conflict. this kind of mobilization is an important function at the forum for political parties.
it is conflict that involves the people in politics. in nature of the conflict determines the nature of public involvement. there is an excellent book that has developed some of these points. i highly recommend them to leave. how did third political parties change the conflict system? the populist party introduced the 5 d of the graduated income tax, female suffrage -- introduced the graduated income tax, female suffrage. the campaign of george wallace unidentified the reagan democrats who were really dramatic players in our party system. they created the base for a populist republican party.
a third party's identify discontent and dominant parties take it that. it is tibet a third party cannot get a permit in this country. parties are notoriously reluctant to shift their strategy unless they know it will get them votes. they want to show there is a group of voters here. if you want them, go get them. we have outlined them for you. what happened to these parties?
you have genuine party is not just campaign vehicles. form of third party organizing is the heart of the progressive era. there is the australian ballot in place of the party ticket. it has ballot access in voter registration with it. the adoption of -- [unintelligible] in campaign finance laws and the advent of televised debates and other source of things that you are allowed to participate in as a third-party candidate.
if those are some of the things that are locked out, what might you want to get rid of? i would say the direct primary. after a discussion this morning, i feel differently about that. one of the major things that has changed is the nationalization of the politics. what might we be able to adjust? the best answer to this question comes a case setting that i lived through in annapolis. it was not necessarily a case study that may be happy as a citizen but happy as an epidemic. it was the election of jesse ventura as a governor.
i think it is important not to stay on that level of politics, even though it is true that his name recognition did something for him. he had the right to participate in televised debates and other organized forums. he did not embarrass himself to valley. there was a comprehensive campaign financing problem -- program. the block grants were split up.
you give $50 to a candidate and the state sends you a check in cash back. why did they do that? they are very crafted. they understand that was -- what makes people engaged in politics is that they give money first and their vote second. and of the state has had serious budget woes, but jesse ventura benefited from that. he also benefited from election day registration faced with
plummeting the dissipation rates. there is an idea that said you are who you are living at an address. that is the package that many would have. major partyg about is opening for their challenges. they may want to look at what coalitions' exist. on principle, if we think more participation is better, then we
have to look at that. those third parties to the right or left of me, participation is a big thing. it must have a compromise and cooperation engage in politics. the other thing we might do is adopt alternative of voting. the interesting ones that could make our system more proportional -- i do not worry too much about this because he knows more. they look at a multi member district. he set a threshold for the number of votes of what needs to be elected. you redistrict the votes that are in excess of what a candidate needs as low as those that have not chance of winning and distributing their votes.
both the people cats in excess and those that are cast for those that have a chance of winning. the other scheme is instant runoff voting. this is something that minneapolis are experiencing. everyone is better than average to find some better than average political solutions. [applause] >> i have a bad feeling we will never get to questions. i will be very quick. it is a great pleasure to be here. when we are talking about the future of political parties, think more broadly about what it
is. we think of the republican national committee, but in a sense, it is not just happening on election day, but in a lot of different ways and avenues for different types of organizations. coalitions are big constellations that take different forms. for example, when you think about opinion journalism or the national review for the nation, they are not part of the political party. some are for profit or not for profit. but they exist in an ideological space. it is like a seal of approval for good housekeeping. you have organizations that have emerged more recently in
response to rigorous campaign finance regulation. there is a difference media environment. there is a struggle on the framing of non party politics. there are many people that say there is not something like that. in america, you have your churches. they do not have the social conservative activism that was happening in certain contexts is. so taxpayers and at the federation's -- we can take them for granted. when you look at educational groups, they can act on behalf of candidates. they are non-partisan groups. we were encouraged to not use partisan labels.
their role is not to endorse particular candidates, but there are a lot of figures in many that have their affiliation outside of the organization. when you look at the campaign finance regime, it is a hydraulic system. the more transparent to make it, the more likely you will make anonymous donations. that gives you a lot of flexibility and freedom if you're a donor. colorado is a state that is republican for a long period of time. out of the blue, the state flood. republican majorities evaporated very quickly. that happened in part because there was a group of smart and committed donors, many that were motivated and said, what we need
to do is squelched some of these politicians and become more influential and powerful unless we stop them early on. they saw the state democratic party as a problem. they saw it as highly inefficient and it were not spending their money effectively. so we said, we should create our own parallel organizations. why did they have a couple? they had one organization that accepted donations from the colorado state teachers' union and another organization that was designed to run in those districts where they had already endorsed their republicans. what is interesting is they are not supposed to coordinate with local parties. they can coordinate with each other. finally you have a shadow
organization that has a lot less scrutiny attached to it. it is not working with the traditional party organization. for that reason, it can be more effective than the traditional party organization. a third party cannot come out of nowhere. they have to use innovative new tactics. the have to apply these to politics. this goes to our future. a. but at media organizations in this country. basically, you have a model that started with an idea where you will sell advertisements in bundle things together. you bundle together real estate listings, sports coverage, and it does not work out very well.
there are many little organizations that have nibbled away at the pieces of this point. you could argue that this media is not as a viable as it once was. what does that mean? what does that look like? not the political parties themselves, but this brought a consolation that is dedicated to seizing the reins of power will increasingly find me it investigative journalism. you see more of that journalism happening through groups that have political axes to grind. when a ruling by the darts in universities, patronage has always been an important part of this environment.
this may not last that long. we think about the future of political parties, think outside of what we call the political parties and think about these movements. look at central europe. there were political parties and social democrats. they had kids marching in uniforms the beautiful handkerchiefs. you could be part of bowling and other popular german sports. and a lot of my buddies from college who do not share my political proclivities started organizations such as drinking liberally. they decided to get people to come together, about politics and get drunk together. they came from places like ohio
or the lower east side. they drove out to different states and not on doors. my guess is that they ended up alienating themselves. the idea that we will form a social bond of around our politics emerge. what they did is they went into these big republican suburbs and said, how do you feel about your neighbors and their narrow mindedness that you read the nation as well. i did not know there are people like this who lived in plan of texas. they were serving a function. we are talking about these democrat that live in these apartment complexes that are alienated. we are giving them an avenue of
some social organization that feels very real. i just think that all of this stuff together, i did to the stuff is coming together. when you look at the christian evangelical families, -- when you look at families that have three or more children, they have a bigger slice of the next generation. i think we need to look at the future of the parties. this looks pretty stable and solid. it indeed a major terrorist attack or if it be an economic crisis that stems inflation.
why is this generation identified with republican policies. there are certain interpretations on how we should look at this situation. one could argue if we have an unsustainable fiscal situation, where we have a level of public debt where the difference between a country be is about two percentage points of growth. it is possible that if you have these policies, you are going to run into that sharp wall. a lot of these entitlement programs that are impossible to pare back, we see 10% more of
taxes. it could be that we will run into a wall. i do not know how it will manifest itself, who knows. this switch from one thing to another. i am encouraging you to think about these moment and look to the culture and the real political parties rather than the former political parties. thanks. [applause] >> thanks to all of you. we have a little bit of time for questions. if we get s big questions, please come to the microphone. we are running tight on time.
>> i thought your last point was a good one. , especially the question of big immigration. my question is a little quirky. it is regarding the 13 mountain and plains states. historically they never represent more than 8% of the population. they elect 26 senators however. i am puzzled by the role that region regarding its lack of diversity -- republicans have had an age for a while. when our population grows to 400 million, according to the new book, what are the structural
pressures on the constitution and the two-party system if one party dominates its and there is a pretty strong hold on the senate? >> that is a totally fascinating also question. it really place to the geographical observations. there are regions where you have heavy migration fenner emmitt magnet regions. you have a lot of people in idaho who used to be public sector employees and collect pensions. that shapes the coloration of politics. if we look in northern virginia where many people have migrated
over the years, we think those are state that had been read that are purple. it also means that perhaps certain states could be more susceptible at the margin in certain terms. this is an area will -- or economic life looks very different. what identification do they have? does that sharpened some of the political conflict that we have now? these are low-cost regions. sectional conflicts is really intense could become that intense as boundaries overlap.
>> this question is best for him. we talk about hispanic votes. they have tried to mobilize hispanic voters in the past. certain states like colorado and california are seen voters vote on how they view immigration. say the republicans do not act and it managed to pass immigration reform? how long before these voting ?atterns crystallize t ninth
>> i think they -- crystallized? >> i think they already are. it is now a 2-1 democratic group. these voters will of the basis of immigration. i think you're right about that. economic issues are also a real driver of this. if you look at the younger vet -- generation of hispanics, the republican party seems hostile to immigration. there are republicans behind it, but people really hostile with immigration seem to be republicans. that does not look good.
i do not think the door was ever completely shut, but the republicans have a lot of work to do. >> >i am a senior political science major. the need for bipartisan cooperation has come up quite a bit. do any of you think the bipartisan health care was effective in fostering this bipartisan cooperation? will we see more of those in the future?
>> i am a parent. my question could be to any of you. very strange in my view -- it was something that happened the other day. i was listening to some comments. one person came close to ridiculing fox news. i thought he was a conservative republican senator from oklahoma. perhaps he has a safe seat. do any of the things that wasn't random acts of kindness?
was there some design going on in terms of moderating the party? >> bipartisanship in both questions. >> i think it was a tactical move. people were saying no one is really watching this. the audience was really congress. we want to demonstrate certain things. we had a narrow tactical purpose. i think there are some republicans -- there was a
particular set of circumstances. i think cockburn is a fascinating guy who collaborated with senator obama. they had different objectives. it surprises me. whittstock but how ferocious it is, but there are still relationships that form. you can disagree, but it does not make them a contemptible person. an appealing person cannot be in the slightest.emptibl
republicans are saying that we want to work with the president's. nancy pelosi and the president of getting in our way. that has changed. these are very particular. >> i think the mechanics of how this will work out in the future will be politicians -- there will be others in the party. there will be increasing attempts to try to distance
we will see how long it takes to work out. >> we a seen a number of efforts to reach across the aisle. [unintelligible] there will be a lot more opportunities i think to come. >> on that note, we will call our conference to an end. thank you for coming. [applause] [unintelligible] [captioning performed by national captioning institute] [captions copyright national cable satellite corp. 2010]
>> and next, the visit of president obama to the gulf coast. after that, our cameras follow charlie melancon as he looks said the aftermath of the oil spill there. and after that will be comments and questions on "washington journal." >> david cameron fields questions from members of parliament in his first prime minister's questions as head of the government. this is sunday night at 9:00 on c-span. >> president obama and vice president biden share -- speak with a parts supplier in maryland. he talked about the monthly jobs numbers. the economy added thousands of jobs last month. the unemployment numbers were down to 9.7%. this is about 15 minutes. [applause]
>> good morning, everybody. please, everybody, have a seat. it isonderful to be here, and i want to make a couple of quick acknowledgements. is guy behind me, you may know him. he is a vice president of the united states, joe biden. [applause] we have maryland's lieutenant governor, anthony bro, here. we have the mayor of hyattsville, william gardner. [applause] and of course we have to acknowledge the big man here, and he is big. the owner of k. neal international, stephen nickel.
i want to thank k. neal for having us here today, giving us a quick tour and having us look at all these trucks. this is a business that has been selling commercial truc for over 40 years. this comny employs workers from all over the greater washington area. after two years of recession that caused so much pain in so many communities, this is also an example of a company that is starting to see business pick up again. stephen told me that rental and lease sales have improved, that there is a pent-up demand out the r new equipment, and you have added workers over the last few months. steven says that if things keep on going well, he will add more in the months ahead. we are hearing more and more stories like that all across
america. a lot of businesses were hit hard during this downturn, but th are starting thire again. workers who were laid off are starting to get their jobs back. companies that were almost forced to close theiroors are making plans to expand and invest in new equipment. this progress is reflected in the monthly jobs report is that we get each month. we received one today. in may, the , added431,000 jobs -- in may, the country added 431,000 jobs. while recognize that our recovery is still in its early stages, and there will be ups and downs in the months ahead, things never go completely in a smooth line. this report is a sign that our
economy is getting songer by the day. i wa to emphasize that most of the jobs this month thate are seeing in the statistics represent workers who have been hired to complete the 2010 census. these are temporary jobs that will only last until the fall, and that may be reflected in future jobs report, but even if you put those temporary jobs aside, there is no doubt that we saw another month the private sector job growth. that is obviously critical, because when businesses are hiring again, people start spending again. that in turn gives businesses more and more incentive tgrow. this is not mean that the recession is over for the millions of americans who are still out of work or the millnsore who are still struggling toake ends meet. no words, no statistics can take away the pain and anxiety that a family feels because of this downturn